Putting My Money in My Mouth (and Trying Not To Swallow)

Okay–first order of business. To my good friend Cal, who has demanded entertainment, this monkey dance’s for you!

Moving on…

So, recently I called on my fellow professional and amateur historians (anyone with a past, really, will do) to step up and help bring our attention back to the truly formative actions being taken by the so-called little people, or as Queen says, “behind the curtains in the pantomime,” on the theory that these are the things that really make the world turn, the small things individually which cumulatively give history its meaning, and without which it has none. In so doing, I feel I have finally found a calling worth hearing, and a job worth doing. Future generations–whether they know it or not–are counting on us to deliver to them some sense of community and collective memory, before it’s obliterated by a sandstorm of tweets and twits. No offense to those who engage in the Twitter, but consider this: the first page alone of A Tale of Two Cities would have taken about six months to transmit by current communications standards. The more we boil our lives down to barely minimum quips and not-so-quotable quotes, the less substantive our cultural expression will become and the harder it will be to find true feeling under the megabyte mountain of glib gobbledygook (say that five times fast!). I want my nieces and nephews to be able to express themselves and understand others without having to yank out a Smart(?)phone and become a road hazard to everyone around just to get it out.

But I digress…as always. The point of this is to say that today (or rather, tomorrow) I embark on an attempt to put my money where my mouth is. I’m off to Butler, hopefully to succeed in plugging my little corner of the dike. In short, I’m off to write a book (or die trying). Or not. Anyway, as I begin the task of researching, writing, and getting complete strangers to trust another complete stranger to NOT destroy their treasured family photos (I’m reminded of my brief career as a knife salesman in St. Louis–Good morning, ma’am. You don’t know me and I don’t know you, but I have a bag full of weapons here, and I’d love to come inside and show them to you…)–as I begin this process, I need someone who will keep me accountable. And so, tag, you’re it!

Probably this is not an adventure that will produce much excitement in the doing (although hopefully it will once it’s done), but I feel the need to let somebody know what I’ve done so that I make sure I’m doing something. So, from time to time I will post an update on my humble bloggy-thingy here, and you may feel free to ignore it completely. One of those things that’s really for my benefit, but–if you hear nothing for a bit and would like to tell me to get my a-double-dollar-signs in gear, it would be appreciated. In other words, I hereby extend an invitation to all and everyone to irritate the crap out of me, without fear of repercussions. And who doesn’t like that idea? I know Tammy does, in any case…

See you next time, then, on Mr. Woods Goes to Butler. Don’t touch that dial. Or do. Whatever…

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